U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has expressed deep concern over Rustavi 2 TV developments, which has seen its top management replaced through a court order in ongoing litigation over the broadcaster’s ownership dispute.
“The Embassy is deeply concerned about developments late Thursday night related to Rustavi 2 management and ownership,” Ambassador Kelly said in a written statement on Friday.
“Attempts to change the management of the station, in advance of the appeal process, have profound political implications. In a democratic society, critical opinions should be encouraged, not silenced.”
“We are committed to supporting Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We call on the government to uphold the principles of media freedom and political pluralism that are an integral part of those aspirations. At the same time, we urge all sides to refrain from violence and dedicate themselves to a peaceful resolution of the situation through dialogue,” the U.S. Ambassador said.